City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 5th

Filed under: Bicyclist, Birds, Hawk — canopus56 @ 10:44 pm

Surfing Hawk

4 p.m. I reach the 1.5 milepost sign where the canyon first opens up. A summer storm front has moved in and there is a stiff breeze blowing up canyon. About a hundred and fifty feet up, but too far away to identify, a hawk is surfing the wind. He or she is flying a wide circle, perhaps three quarters of a mile in circumference, by making only subtle changes in its trim feathers. I watch for about 4 or 5 minutes, transfixed, and during this time, it only flaps its wings two or three times. Angling its wings to the wind to form a sail, the hawk gains altitude quickly. As it is about to disappear over the ridge line, a bicyclist whizzes by loudly playing, on a digital device affixed to their machine, a news report about another attention-getting statement by one of our presidential candidates, this being an election year. The broadcast breaks my meditative hawk-watching state and brings me back into my daily life of those things that my friends tell me should really matter. I am glad to have a refuge like the canyon a few minutes from home where such things are, temporarily, trivial and unimportant.


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